Foreign Brands on Singles Day: Difficulties Faced



On Singles Day, the online shopping frenzy is at its worse. Products are shipped from around the world to the online shopping platforms warehouses, just awaiting shipment. For manufacturers, there is no better way to succeed than to be getting your product purchased on Singles Day, and for this to be a popular product during this time. However, foreign brands are also looking to cash in on Singles Day. And many times through cashing in, they alienate their home customer base, such as is the case in Australia.

Singles Day for Australia Company Bellamy’s

Bellamy’s is a brand of organic formula that is located in Australia. They have a high popularity rate among those in Australia, and an even higher reputation among those in China. So much so, that during Single’s Day and a few weeks prior to this day, Bellamy’s had an issue that was a first for the company. This issue involved the availability of their product for Australian locals.

When locals went to the store to purchase their infant formula, they were usually greeted with a message stating that the product was out of stock. When asking store owners when they would get more, many store owners were not aware of when they would get their replacement stock. And so, the issues began for the Australian company.

The Complaints

As soon as formula became harder to find in Australia, Bellamy’s was bombarded with complaints. In particular on their Facebook page:

“I am outraged because I now have a little one who won’t sleep because she is vomiting like crazy from gastroesophageal reflux disease.”

The complaints are somewhat similar to what this mother wrote and are available via the Internet, being widely circulated. So what did Bellamy’s say? The company blamed Singles Day.

The Blame on Singles Day

According to Bellamy’s, they are blaming Singles Day due to the demand of their product and not being able to meet their home countries need for said product. They believe that many retailers were buying this off of the shelves around Australia in order to turn around on resell this on Singles Day via their online shopping platforms. Many Chinese consumers are interested in organic products, such as what Bellamy provides for children. The chief executive for Bellamy, Laura McBain stated:

“We didn’t anticipate we’d have a situation where mums couldn’t access our products.”

However, after placing the blame on Singles Day, those who were to check out Bellamy’s Tmall Site, they state that they had over 1,000 cans of formula still available for Chinese consumers to purchase. However, this is formula that Australian locals cannot get their hands on. This is a huge problem that many foreign brands faced when it comes to Singles Day and selling in China every day. These brands are not only having to satisfy the demand for the product in their home country, but they also have to satisfy Chinese consumers. It is imperative that any brand before diving into the Chinese market understand these dangers and if they can satisfy two markets at the same time.

About Author

Social Brand Watch (SBW) is a collection of experts in digital, mobile and social media in China. SBW was created to complement Resonance's China Social Branding Report, a bi-weekly report focusing on modern marketing methods of the world's top brands in China.

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